Photo courtesy of Rachel Tunke
Nolan Sauve put Strathmore on the map in world-class weight lifting.
Sauve recently returned from Mooresville, Ind., where he placed eighth out of 18 during the Giants Live 90K World’s Strongest Man competition held Oct. 22 at the Core Fitness Club.
“Given the fact that he only had three weeks notice to get ready, I thought he did an incredible job,” said owner of Core Fitness Club Aaron Molin, who also referees official World Strongest Man events.
“I felt like I could have done a little bit better if I had more time to train. I was a little beat up coming off nationals and three weeks isn’t long enough turn around time,” said Sauve.
Sauve, a Gleichen product, captured the Alberta Strong Man competition at the end of August in Fort McMurray and won the national Strong Man competition in Regina Sept. 22, which earned him a spot in Indiana.
“We were very excited to have Canada’s strongest man down here, it was very important to us for him to make the trip,” said Molin. “I heard of him on the Internet and saw some of his previous competitions. He is a great lifter and a great guy.”
Some guys dedicate their lives to the sport; Sauve just finished his third season of competitions. He became hooked on the sport after watching some shows and YouTube videos of lifters like Zydrunas Savickas and Vytautas Lalas.
“I am a little surprised at how far it’s taken me. I’ve had the right opportunities, did (well) at them, I’ve been injury free and now it’s rolling,” said Sauve.
Without a coach, dietitian or trainer, Sauve is self-made. Training in his own gym on his farm, Sauve probably has enough equipment to put local gyms out of business if he wanted to. That’s what happens when you bench press 350-400 pounds and squat in the 500’s.
“I’ve just been collecting equipment and building my own stuff over the years,” said Sauve.
Sauve isn’t completely alone; he still has the support of his friends, the community, his parents and his girlfriend of five years, Rachel Tunke.
“He lives and breathes weightlifting. He probably works out six-to-seven times a week and for two-to-three hours each day,” said Tunke, who studied kinesiology at the University of Lethbridge. “When we travel for a vacation or to visit my family, he is always checking to find the nearest gym that can satisfy his needs.”
Hotel gyms and local YMCA’s might not particularly meet Sauve’s needs, but he manages.
“His work ethic is very impressive. He has always worked out, but he takes this very seriously. His dedication and determination is amazing,” said Tunke.
Sauve was hovering around sixth place entering the final discipline, the atlas stones, but couldn’t manage to place the 240-pound stones onto the 66-inch high platform.
The competition was a one-day event. There was a weigh-in the morning, the grunting began at noon and carried on for the next six hours.
“It wasn’t too bad, we had about a half hour break between events, depending on how you placed in the previous event,” said Sauve.
Points were handed out in each category, ranging from one to 18, with 18 points award for first place. The most accumulated points at the end was crowned the winner.
Lifting nearly 5,300 pounds over the duration, Sauve earned 14.5 points for the max deadlift (lifting Hummer tires), 14 points in the load medley (carrying two 250-pound kegs and two 250-pound sandbags), nine points in the press medley (shoulder pressing a 200-pound keg, 174 pound dumbbell and 285 pound axel), eight points in the carry and drag (carry a 800-pound yoke and drag a 700-pound chain), nine points in the power stairs (carry 275, 300 and 325 pound block up six steps) and zero points in the atlas stones.
“The yoke and chain drag were the most tiring events, but the hardest ones were the power steps and atlas stones because I’m so short,” said Sauve, who stands 5-foot-9.
Sauve, 25, was the only Canadian representative and finished eighth with 54.5 points. Terry Rady of the United States placed first win 101. Sauve missed the podium by 24.5 points. The successful showing in Moorseville earned Sauve trip to next year’s nationals, which has yet to be determined when or where, as he eyes another trip back to World’s.
“Hopefully next time he has a little bit more time to prepare and then I think we will see what he can really do. He has the potential to definitely make a run at this thing,” said Molin.